NASCAR: Nemechek Wins BGN Pole
Oct. 02, 1997
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) _ Joe Nemechek edged Dick Trickle on Thursday to lead a sweep by Winston Cup regulars for the top five starting spots in Saturday's All Pro Bumper-To-Bumper 300 NASCAR Busch Grand National race.
Nemechek turned a fast lap of 176.378 mph in his Chevrolet to pace the 56 drivers who made qualifying runs at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mark Martin, Jimmy Spencer and Jeff Burton rounded out the top five.
Grand National drivers have won just one of the past seven All Pro 300s, which generally attract a large contingent of Winston Cup drivers looking to gauge track conditions for the following day's UAW-GM Quality 500.
``It's like a warmup race,'' Nemechek said. ``You get out there and run 300 miles of practice. You run the car in the corners and you've got to know where you can let off and how you can change your driving style for track conditions.''
Nemechek was driving the same car he used to win the Grand National race at Charlotte in May.
``Everything just worked right,'' he said. ``It's the same car but not the same motor. It's got a new motor in it, and it runs a little bit better.''
Randy LaJoie and Todd Bodine, the top two drivers in the Grand National points standings, will start 29th and 30th Saturday.
The top 32 spots were determined in Thursday's time trials, with the remainder of the 42-car starting grid to be set in a 40-lap qualifying race Friday.